Ruschia pulvinaris L. Bolus
Creeping Shrubby Ice Plant, Congested Ice Plant, Shrubby Ice Plant
Ruschia pulvinaris is a low-growing succulent with woody, branching stems covered with awl-shaped, gray-green leaves patterned with tiny dots. It has a creeping, spreading habit and can reach 4 inches (10 cm) in height and 12 inches (30 cm) in width. The fleshy leaves are triangular in cross-section.
This prolific bloomer produces many bright magenta flowers from mid-spring to summer. The flowers are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.
Ruschia pulvinaris is native to South Africa (Eastern Cape).
USDA hardiness zone 6a to 10b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Ruschias are popular for use in the garden. Their drought tolerance makes them ideal water-wise plants in the arid and semi-arid parts of the world. Brilliant seasonal color displays can be achieved by mass planting in large areas and using many different growth forms.
There are tufted, round-shaped plants well suited for containers and flower boxes. The low-growing and spreading species cover well, will do wonders to terraces and embankments, and will easily stabilize loose sand. Then there are the bigger, more robust types that are best used among larger plants or in combination with other succulents in rock gardens and mixed beds.
Remember that Ruschias are short-lived, and it is essential to continue replanting every three years. As mentioned before, all species attract a host of insects and are thus ideal subjects to attract wildlife to the garden throughout the year.
Once rooted or germinated, cuttings and seedlings can be feed with organic fertilizers to enhance vigor and health. There are not many serious pests that attack Ruschia. It is probably better to first use biological control when pests are detected.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Ruschia.
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